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Publication numberUS20050055492 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/877,158
Publication dateMar 10, 2005
Filing dateJun 24, 2004
Priority dateSep 5, 2003
Also published asUS7587568
Publication number10877158, 877158, US 2005/0055492 A1, US 2005/055492 A1, US 20050055492 A1, US 20050055492A1, US 2005055492 A1, US 2005055492A1, US-A1-20050055492, US-A1-2005055492, US2005/0055492A1, US2005/055492A1, US20050055492 A1, US20050055492A1, US2005055492 A1, US2005055492A1
InventorsSujatha Muthulingam, Alex Tsukerman, Vishwanath Karra, Nicholas Whyte
Original AssigneeOracle International Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and system of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems
US 20050055492 A1
Abstract
A method and system of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems is disclosed. In one embodiment, a high water mark of a data container is adjusted after data in the data container is compacted. As a result, unused space in the data container can be reclaimed.
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Claims(22)
1. A method of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems, the method comprising:
compacting data in a data container;
adjusting a high water mark of the data container; and
reclaiming unused space in the data container.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein compacting data in a data container comprises:
identifying an in-use storage space in the data container;
selecting an unused storage space in the data container; and
moving data in the identified in-use storage space to the selected unused storage space.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein compacting data in a data container further comprises:
determining whether any unused storage space in the data container is located in between two in-use storage spaces; and
repeating the acts of identifying, selecting, and moving when an unused storage space in the data container is located in between two in-use storage spaces.
4. The method of claim 2, wherein a recently emptied storage space is marked to discourage future usage.
5. The method of claim 2, wherein the identified in-use storage space and the selected unused storage space differ in size.
6. The method of claim 2, wherein the identified in-use storage space is an in-use storage space closest to the high water mark of the data container.
7. The method of claim 2, wherein the selected unused storage space is an unused storage space farthest from the high water mark of the data container.
8. The method of claim 2, wherein less than all of the data in the identified in-use storage space is moved to the selected unused storage space.
9. The method of claim 2, wherein moving data in the identified in-use storage space to the selected unused storage space is implemented in two stages.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein only unlocked pieces of data in the identified in-use storage space are moved to the selected unused storage space in the first stage.
11. The method of claim 2, wherein moving data in the identified in-use storage space to the selected unused storage space is executed transactionally and/or incrementally.
12. The method of claim 2, wherein moving data in the identified in-use storage space to the selected unused storage space is carried out at varying levels of granularity.
13. The method of claim 12, wherein the granularity in which data in the identified in-use storage space is moved depends upon the granularity at which a data storage system maintains data integrity.
14. The method of claim 1, wherein data integrity is preserved through the reclamation process.
15. The method of claim 1, wherein only one command needs to be issued to start the reclamation process.
16. The method of claim 1, wherein optimal concurrency is maintained when data in the data container is compacted.
17. The method of claim 1, wherein data in the data container is compacted away from the high water mark of the data container.
18. The method of claim 1, wherein the reclamation process is recoverable and/or restartable.
19. The method of claim 1, wherein adjusting a high water mark of the data container comprises:
adjusting the high water mark to exclude all unused storage spaces in the data container.
20. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
tracking usage in the data container.
21. A computer program product that includes a compute readable medium, the computer readable medium comprising a plurality of instructions which, when executed by a processor, causes the process to execute a process for reclaiming storage space in data storage systems, the process comprising:
compacting data in a data container;
adjusting a high water mark of the data container; and
reclaiming unused space in the data container.
22. A system for reclaiming storage space in data storage systems, the system comprising:
means for compacting data in a data container;
means for adjusting a high water mark of the data container; and
means for reclaiming unused space in the data container.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/500,467, filed Sep. 5, 2003, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes as if fully set forth herein.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY

The present invention is related to data storage systems. More particularly, the present invention is directed to a method and system of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems.

Data storage systems utilize various mechanisms to identify available storage space. One approach is to maintain a “high water mark” to indicate a boundary between the portion of a data container that is unavailable, i.e., has been allocated for storage, and the portion of the data container that is available, i.e., has not been allocated for storage. The “high water mark” may be a pointer to the most recently allocated space in the data container. This mechanism optimizes the efficiency of allocating space by making it easy to locate available storage space.

The “high water mark” mechanism, however, may result in less efficient use of storage space in data storage systems because data objects that are initially very large frequently shrink in size. For example, a table that starts out with 1 million rows may end up with only a few hundred rows after several transactions. As a result, much of the storage space allocated for the table will be left unused. Since the “high water mark” only moves in one direction, the newly freed storage space below the “high water mark” will not be available to store other data objects as the system assumes that available storage space can only be found above the “high water mark.”

Having data containers with unused storage space scattered throughout can impact the performance of scans and DML (Data Manipulation Language) operations. Scans may be affected because the amount of storage space read may not be proportional to the data retrieved. In addition, the length of time it takes for a scan to complete may also impact various operations that are scan-based.

In OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) systems, large tables called staging tables are often used for staging data. For example, data may be inserted into the staging tables for pickling. Pickling is a process of transforming data from a source representation to a uniform target representation. A large amount of the data in the staging tables is frequently deleted after pickling. The space that has been allocated for the staging tables, however, may remain unavailable to other objects for a considerable period of time after the data has been deleted.

One method of making available, i.e., reclaiming, unused storage space in an existing data container that is below the “high water mark” is to create a new data container, allocate storage space for objects in the existing data container in the new data container, move those objects to the new data container, and delete the existing data container. This solution, however, requires extra storage space. Hence, addition equipment, e.g., data storage devices, disk drives, etc., may need to be purchased. In addition, the objects may be offline, i.e., inaccessible, during the reclamation process, which may not be acceptable to end-users. Furthermore, dependent objects may have to be recreated as a result of the reclamation process.

Thus, it is desirable to provide a method and system where unused storage space in data containers can be reclaimed in place, i.e., without requiring extra storage space, where concurrency is preserved (i.e., objects in the data containers remain accessible during the reclamation process), and where data dependencies are maintained.

The present invention provides a method and system of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems. In one embodiment, data in a data container is compacted. A high water mark of the data container is then adjusted and unused space in the data container is reclaimed.

Further details of aspects, objects, and advantages of the invention are described below in the detailed description, drawings, and claims. Both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory, and are not intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and, together with the Detailed Description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates a process flow of a method of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 shows an example of how storage space in a data container is reclaimed according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 depicts a flow chart of a method of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates another example of how storage space in a data container can be reclaimed.

FIG. 5 is a diagram of a computer system with which embodiments of the present invention can be implemented.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reclamation of storage space in data storage systems is disclosed. Rather than move data in an existing data container into a new data container in order to reclaim unused storage space below a high water mark of the existing data container, unused storage space in the existing data container is reclaimed by compacting its content, which isolates the unused storage space in the existing data container, and adjusting the high water mark of the existing data container to exclude the emptied storage space. This allows for reclamation of freed storage space without needing to create a new data container, which requires extra storage space. In addition, concurrency of access and data dependencies can be maintained as well.

Data containers into which data is to be inserted may exist at any level of granularity. For example, a data container may be a table space, a file, a segment, a data block, or a row. A data storage system, at the finest level of granularity, may store data in rows. The rows, in turn, may be stored in one or more data blocks. Each data block may correspond to a specific number of bytes of physical space on a data storage device, e.g., a disk drive, etc. The next level of space is an extent. An extent may be a specific number of contiguous data blocks. Segments are the next level of granularity. Each segment may include one or more extents. Although in the following description, for purposes of explanation, specific types or granularity of data containers are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention, the present invention is not limited to any particular type or granularity of data container.

Illustrated in FIG. 1 is a method of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems according to an embodiment of the invention. At 102, data in a data container is compacted. In one embodiment, the data is compacted away from a high water mark of the data container. As a result, unused space in the data container will be aligned at the high water mark end of the data container. At 104, the data container's high water mark is adjusted to make the emptied space reclaimable. Finally, at 105, unused space in the data container is reclaimed. In one embodiment, only one command needs to be issued to start the reclamation process.

FIG. 2 shows an example of how storage space is reclaimed in a data storage system according to one embodiment of the invention. In the example, a data container 200 includes a high water mark 202, a reclaimable space 204, four unused spaces 206 a-206 d, and four in-use spaces 208 a-208 d. Unused spaces are those spaces that had been allocated for storage, but have since been emptied or freed, i.e., spaces that do not contain data. In-use spaces are those spaces that are still currently occupied, i.e., spaces that contain data.

As the reclamation process proceeds, data in in-use space 208 d, which is closest to high water mark 202 a is moved to unused space 206 a, which is farthest from high water mark 202 a. Filling in unused space 206 a frees up new space at high water mark's 202 a end of data container 200. In the embodiment, unused space 206 d expands as a result of the data movement.

Data in data container 200 remains online, i.e., accessible to users, when relocation of data is carried out transactionally. For example, a piece of data in space 208 d can be inserted into space 206 a before the same piece of data in space 208 d is deleted. In one embodiment, a piece of data in space 208 d may be deleted first before the piece of data is inserted into space 206 a. For those embodiments, if movement of data is done incrementally, e.g., a row or a block at a time, other rows or blocks of data will remain accessible even when one row or block of data is locked. Thus, optimal concurrency can still be maintained.

In an embodiment, the granularity in which data is relocated depends upon the granularity at which the data storage system maintains data integrity. For example, if a data storage system maintains integrity at the row level, then data is moved on a row by row basis. Additionally, since data can be relocated using typical functions of the data storage system, e.g., insert operation, delete operation, etc., inherent maintenance functions in the system can automatically preserve the integrity of the data, e.g., data dependencies, indexes, constraints, triggers, etc., being moved. Moreover, because the relocation process uses typical data storage system functions, the process is recoverable, can be rolled back, etc.

Once unused space 206 a is filled, shown in FIG. 2 as data container 200 b, contents remaining in space 208 d are moved to unused space 206 b. In the embodiment, data is moved from the end closest to high water mark 202 a to the end farthest from high water mark 202 a until all of the unused spaces between in-use spaces are filled. In other words, all of the data will be at one end of data container 200, and all of the unused or free space will be at the other end of data container 200, shown in FIG. 2 as data container 200 d.

As shown in FIG. 2, data in space 208 d need not be relocated into the same unused space. Data from space 208 d were moved into three different unused spaces 206 a-206 c. Additionally, less than all of the data in space 208 d were moved since unused spaces 206 a-206 c differed in size from space 208 d and could not accommodate all of the data from space 208 d. In other embodiments, when the data being moved cannot be moved to random locations or out of order, such as an index, the data will be moved, in order, into one location.

Scans and DML (Data Manipulation Language) operations may run in parallel with the data movement phase. Searches for space by DML operations may be synchronized with searches for unused space during the data movement phase. DML operation searches for space may attempt to optimize the search path by caching addresses of spaces where data has been successfully inserted. If those spaces are close to high water mark 202 a, then the progress made by the data movement phase may be countered. Hence, spaces being emptied that are near high water mark 202 a may be marked with a state that would discourage future use of the emptied spaces, e.g., prevent inserts from happening.

After all of the data in data container 200 are coalesced at one end of data container 200, high water mark 202 a is adjusted to make unused space 206 d reclaimable, i.e., high water mark 202 a is moved to exclude space(s) that have been successfully emptied. As shown in FIG. 2, high water mark 202 a is moved to the beginning of unused space 206 d in data container 200 e, which converts unused space 206 d into reclaimable space. While high water mark 202 a is being adjusted, data container 200 may be locked, i.e., unavailable for DML operations. However, scans may still run concurrently on data container 200. An enlarged reclaimable space 204 b is then reclaimed, which results in data container 200 f.

Depicted in FIG. 3 is a flow chart of a method of reclaiming storage space in data storage systems according to another embodiment of the invention. Usage in a data container is tracked (302). In one embodiment, a bitmap may be used to track usage in the data container. For example, each space in the data container would have a corresponding space on the bitmap. The bitmap then provides information on which portions of the data container are free or unused and which spaces are occupied or in-use.

At 304, an in-use storage space in the data container is identified. The identified in-use storage space may be an in-use storage space closest to a high water mark of the data container. An unused storage space in the data container is selected at 306. The selected unused storage space may be an unused storage space farthest from the high water mark of the data container. Data in the identified in-use storage space are then moved, i.e., copied, relocated, etc., to the selected unused storage space (308).

Movement of data may be implemented in two stages. In one embodiment, the first stage will attempt to move as much data as possible. For instance, if a piece of data is locked, e.g., being accessed by another transaction, the process will skip that piece of data and proceed to move other pieces of data that are unlocked. In the embodiment, the second stage will wait for data to become unlocked in order to move data that was skipped in the first stage. In another embodiment, whenever the process realizes that it is competing against another transaction, e.g., a user transaction, for access to the same piece of data, the process will allow the other transaction to access the data first.

If the identified in-use storage space is emptied as a result of the movement of data to the selected unused storage space, the now empty identified storage space may be marked to prevent the storage space from being used again. In addition, if a bitmap is being maintained for the data container, the bitmap may be updated to indicate that the identified storage space is now empty. Tracking usage as the reclamation process progresses allows the reclamation process to restart where it left off on occasions where the process ends abruptly due to an error.

A determination is made at 310 as to whether any unused storage space in the data container is located in between two in-use storage spaces. If one or more such unused storage spaces remain, the process returns to 304. When none of the unused storage spaces in the data container is located in between two in-use storage spaces, the high water mark of the data container is adjusted to exclude all of the unused storage spaces in the data container (312). The unused storage spaces in the data container are then reclaimed at 314.

FIG. 4 is another example of how storage space in a data container can be reclaimed. In the example, a data container 400 comprises a high water mark 402, a reclaimable space 404, two unused storage spaces 406 a-406 b, and three in-use storage spaces 408 a-408 c. In the embodiment, instead of moving data in in-use storage space 408 c to unused storage space 406 a, some of the data in in-use storage space 408 b is moved to unused storage space 406 a. One reason for moving data in in-use storage space 408 b instead of in-use storage space 408 c may be due to the fact that in-use storage space 408 c is currently locked because it is being accessed by another transaction. Another reason may be due to the fact that data in in-use storage space 408 c has to be moved as a whole and not in parts. Movement of some of the data in in-use storage space 408 b enlarges unused storage space 406 b as shown in data container 400 b.

Since unused storage space 406 b is now large enough to accommodate all of the data in in-use storage space 408 c, all of the data in in-use storage space 408 c are moved to unused storage space 406 b. A new unused storage space 406 c is then created as seen in data container 400 c. High water mark 402 a can now be adjusted as none of the unused storage spaces in data container 400 c is in between two in-use storage spaces. After adjustment of high-water mark 402 a to the beginning of unused storage space 406 c, reclaimable space 404 a enlarges to become reclaimable space 404 b. Reclaiming reclaimable space 404 b results in data container 400 e.

System Architecture Overview

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a computer system 500 suitable for implementing an embodiment of the present invention. Computer system 500 includes a bus 502 or other communication mechanism for communicating information, which interconnects subsystems and devices, such as a processor 504, a system memory 506 (e.g., RAM), a static storage device 508 (e.g., ROM), a disk drive 510 (e.g., magnetic or optical), a communication interface 512 (e.g., modem or ethernet card), a display 514 (e.g., CRT or LCD), an input device 516 (e.g., keyboard), and a cursor control 518 (e.g., mouse or trackball).

According to one embodiment of the invention, computer system 500 performs specific operations by processor 504 executing one or more sequences of one or more instructions contained in system memory 506. Such instructions may be read into system memory 506 from another computer readable medium, such as static storage device 508 or disk drive 510. In alternative embodiments, hard-wired circuitry may be used in place of or in combination with software instructions to implement the invention.

The term “computer readable medium” as used herein refers to any medium that participates in providing instructions to processor 504 for execution. Such a medium may take many forms, including but not limited to, non-volatile media, volatile media, and transmission media. Non-volatile media includes, for example, optical or magnetic disks, such as disk drive 510. Volatile media includes dynamic memory, such as system memory 506. Transmission media includes coaxial cables, copper wire, and fiber optics, including wires that comprise bus 502. Transmission media can also take the form of acoustic or light waves, such as those generated during radio wave and infrared data communications.

Common forms of computer readable media includes, for example, floppy disk, flexible disk, hard disk, magnetic tape, any other magnetic medium, CD-ROM, any other optical medium, punch cards, paper tape, any other physical medium with patterns of holes, RAM, PROM, EPROM, FLASH-EPROM, any other memory chip or cartridge, carrier wave, or any other medium from which a computer can read.

In an embodiment of the invention, execution of the sequences of instructions to practice the invention is performed by a single computer system 500. According to other embodiments of the invention, two or more computer systems 500 coupled by communication link 520 (e.g., LAN, PTSN, or wireless network) may perform the sequence of instructions required to practice the invention in coordination with one another.

Computer system 500 may transmit and receive messages, data, and instructions, including a program, i.e., application code, through communication link 520 and communication interface 512. Received program code may be executed by processor 504 as it is received, and/or stored in disk drive 510, or other non-volatile storage for later execution.

In the foregoing specification, the invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments thereof. It will, however, be evident that various modifications and changes may be made thereto without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the above-described process flows are described with reference to a particular ordering of process actions. However, the ordering of many of the described process actions may be changed without affecting the scope or operation of the invention. The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than restrictive sense.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7886124Jul 30, 2007Feb 8, 2011Oracle International CorporationMethod and mechanism for implementing dynamic space management for large objects
US8775479Jul 30, 2007Jul 8, 2014Oracle International CorporationMethod and system for state maintenance of a large object
US20120117035 *Nov 9, 2010May 10, 2012Symantec CorporationFile system consistency check on part of a file system
EP1903442A1Sep 21, 2006Mar 26, 2008Siemens AktiengesellschaftMethod for operating an automation system
WO2011106068A1 *Dec 15, 2010Sep 1, 2011Symantec CorporationSystems and methods for enabling replication targets to reclaim unused storage space on thin-provisioned storage systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification711/100, 711/E12.006
International ClassificationG06F3/06, G06F12/02
Cooperative ClassificationG06F3/0608, G06F12/023, G06F3/064, G06F3/0674
European ClassificationG06F3/06A6L2D, G06F3/06A2C, G06F3/06A4F2, G06F12/02D2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 6, 2013FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Sep 21, 2010CCCertificate of correction
Jun 24, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: ORACLE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MUTHULINGAM, SUJATHA;TSUKERMAN, ALEX;KARRA, VISHWANATH;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:015523/0665;SIGNING DATES FROM 20040608 TO 20040616